UPDATED: Residents in Binstead are rallying support against a planning application for the transformation of the former Brickfields site which could see upwards of 100 HGVs a day passing through the village’s quiet and narrow roads, with fears children and the elderly could be put into unnecessary danger.
Island plant hire company Reynolds and Read Ltd, who currently operate from Blackwater, have applied to transform the former Brickfields equestrian centre on Newnham Road into a storage and distribution facility, relocating and consolidating their plant and vehicle operations to the site from existing premises at Blackwater, Rookley and Duxmore.
The application states that the Binstead site would become Reynolds & Read’s main base and would include offices, lorry and plant storage, vehicle repairs (including servicing for other operators when required), aggregates and loose material storage (approx. 250 tonnes) as well as plant and skip hire operations, which has led to some serious concerns being raised by local residents who are against the plans.
Over 50 comments have been received on the online planning application, including from Ryde Town Council who are objecting to the plans with a variety of concerns. They have said:
“The proposed new use of the site and the consequent substantial increase in HGV traffic movements on winding country lanes will not only have a detrimental impact on these activities but will also place at risk cyclists, walkers and all other users of these lanes.
“This proposal will necessitate the use and storage of hazardous flammable materials on the site. There will be fuel
tanks, heavy oils and other materials, which are associated with the proposed operation of the site. The applicant has not provided a risk assessment for the storage and use of these materials nor have they provided a satisfactory management plan.
“In the absence of such a plan the Town Council have serious concerns regarding the applicant’s ability to safely manage these materials and protect the environment from accidental spillage”.
If planning permission is given by the Isle of Wight Council, heavy and wide loads would be passing along Newnham Road from Binstead Hill and along Stroudwood Road to Smallbrooke Roundabout between the hours of 07:00 and 19:00, leading to fears for residents in the two areas that the massive increase in industrial traffic will result in the deterioration of the road, disturbance to homeowners and will pose a risk to residents and children attending Binstead Primary School, as well as parked cars in the area.
One resident has told Island Echo that traffic can become busy on the Binstead Hill roundabout, leading him to believe Binstead Lodge Road would become a rat run for the lorries and other vehicles associated with the site, which would include up to 40 employees and their cars.
Leaflets have been distributed in Binstead this week by rallying residents bringing the situation to the attention of those living in the area, which is primarily of an elderly and young family population.
Resident’s comments have included:
1) “I strongly disgree with the proposal and hope the council see’s sense when making their decision. The area is just not desgined for the proposed volumn of traffic!”
2) “It is a quiet area which is enjoyed by many horse riders. Just think of the safety of others before you let a stupid proposal that is not suitable for the area. I dread to think what it would do if they cut through the estate, but until there’s a serious accident you would never know”.
3) “The road leading up to this site is not suitable by width for industrial sized vehicles and I can not imagine that the transport will be kept to those times. I also feel the noise and vibration from these trucks will have an impact on roads which are already in a bad condition as well as residents who enjoy a quiet neighbourhood”.
4) “The road is regularly used by children who are travelling to the local primary school and back and the narrow highways and lack of pavements are already a problem in this area at present. We believe that the proposed plans will only add to the potential for accidents”.
UPDATE FRIDAY: Island Roads have today given recommendation for the conditional approval of the plans to transform the former Brickfields horse country into the main depot for Reynolds and Reads.
The representation placed says that none of the three access roads have been identified as a preferred route as they all have their difficulties. Newnham Road, Stroudwood Road and Havenstreet Main Road are the only access roads to the former site, with the document acknowledging that Newnham Road in the majority of areas is not wide enough for two large vehicles to pass each other and is barely passable for a large vehicle and a car in several locations.
Brett Lindsay, Highway Development Control Engineer for Island Roads, has noted that between Newnham Lane and Brickfields two HGV’s would struggle to pass each other and the forward visibility is not as good due to the winding nature. The 7-page document says that 4.8m is required to enable a private motor vehicle and a service vehicle to pass, but also says that there is just 4.4m width of road near to the Brickfields site. Despite this, Mr Lindsay has still recommended planning permission be given.
Although the representation states there has only been one recorded minor accident in the area in the last 3 years, there has been no mention of Smallbrook Roundabout – one of the Island’s notorious accident hotspots – where HGVs would exit when using Stroudwood Road.
Island Roads’ recommended conditions include putting into place visibility splays, the use of approved gates only and ensuring that all vehicles can leave the site in forward gear meaning optimum turning areas.
Anyone wishing to state an objection to the plans have until 3rd October to submit their comment, which can be done at http://www.iwight.com/planning/PlanAppComment3.aspx?appId=28668.
The full planning application details can be viewed here.